EZ Stickerbook and Social/Emotional Learning

Social/emotional learning (SEL) has never been more important than in our current time.  Adults and children have had to deal with a lot of different social and emotional situations in the last 2 years because of the pandemic.  We have gone from being in social situations to being quarantined to being on a computer screen and then back in the classroom.  These diverse social situations have also had an impact on emotional health.

Young children who are taught and immersed in social situations while in pre-school have missed out on these experiences so they are coming into elementary school with little to no social experience.  Kindergarten teachers depend on those skills being taught in pre-school so when they come to school without those skills, it makes the teacher’s job even more difficult.

Elementary age teachers who depend on the social skills that are absorbed and taught in lower grades are also seeing a gap in social and academic skills.  This lack of skills also impacts emotional health because students don’t know how to deal with the pressure of being in or back in an educational setting.  If students are not socially or emotionally available to learn the skills they need to learn at a specific grade level, it makes the academic gap bigger and bigger.  

How can EZ Stickerbook help with this in-classroom crisis?

There are many benefits of EZ Stickerbook that can support the social and emotional health of students.  First, teachers can communicate with parents the expectations for the classroom so that the parents know how to assist, support and prepare their child.  For example, sending an announcement to all the families in the classroom that includes the rules for the classroom can help the families understand and discuss what is expected of their child.  Teachers can even ask families to message them back when they have discussed the rules with their child.

Another way for EZ Stickerbook to support SEL is in setting goals for the class or for individual students.  If a teacher notices that their students are having a hard time taking turns, they can set a goal of taking turns with an award after displaying the behavior 5 times.  Each time the student displays the behavior, they get a small sticker to say “great job”! 

While working on the goal, the student’s final award will be grayed out in their sticker book.  This will show them what they are working for.  After 5 times, the award will appear in color.  The color award is a signal that “you reached your goal!”  Families see that they are displaying the target behavior and they can also positively reinforce the behavior. 

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Seeing that repetition is how a behavior becomes a habit, setting a goal that incorporates numerous displays of the behavior is key in making it a habit.  Setting a goal with 5 or 10 repetitions is  just the start of making it that habit.  Teachers may repeat the goal until it does become a daily habit.

If there are several students who are having a harder time with the target behavior/goal, the teacher can privately message the family of those students to let them know about the difficulties, thereby getting the family to help work on the goal at home as well.  There are so many ways that EZ Stickerbook can help connect the family and teacher so that they are team working to support the student.

The teacher can also make goals to support emotional health.  Goals can be anything from responding appropriately to emotional situations to talking about feelings.  We want students to feel comfortable in expressing their feelings and discussing things that bother or confuse them.  With EZ Stickerbook, teachers can, again, privately message families if they notice that a child is emotional so that the families can support their children.

Teachers can also send stickers with a message saying “Great job talking about your feelings.” or “You did a great job persevering today!”  This will support the student’s comfort level in school knowing that the teacher notices them and reinforces the target behavior.

Teachers need to advocate for their students social/emotional health because it has a direct effect on their own social/emotional health.  The pandemic has been traumatic for everyone whether the trauma is at a low level or extremely high level.  Everyone needs to give each other grace and understand that the new normal is affecting people of all ages.

 Kim LaCoste

Kim LaCoste

Kim LaCoste has worked in early childhood education for over 30 years. She has a BS in Elementary Education, a MS in Early Childhood Education and a CAGS in School Leadership. When not in her kindergarten classroom, she likes to read, spend time with her dogs, go to the beach and spend time with her son and husband. Using technology in her classroom is one of her passions.